As many as 80% of patients with end-stage liver disease and hepatic encephalopathy have significant protein-calorie malnutrition. Because of the severe hypercatabolic state of cirrhosis, the provision of liberal amounts of carbohydrate (at least 35 to 40 kcal/kg per day), and between 1.2 and 1.6 g/kg of protein is necessary. Protein restriction is not recommended. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation and vegetable protein are associated with improved outcomes. Dietary supplementation with vitamins, minerals (with the notable exception of zinc) and probiotics should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Abdelsayed G; Clinics in Liver Disease 19 (3), 497-505 (Aug 2015)